Italian dancer Valentino Zucchetti is a First Soloist of The Royal Ballet. He trained at The Royal Ballet Upper School and on graduation joined Zürich Ballet. He joined the Company in 2010, promoted to First Artist in 2011, Soloist in 2012 and First Soloist in 2014.
Zucchetti was born in Calcinate and began training locally aged four. Aged 11 he moved to Milan to study at La Scala Ballet School. Aged 16 he was offered a scholarship to study at The Royal Ballet Upper School and while there won the 2006 Genée International Ballet Competition and the 2007 Solo Seal award. In his final year he created a role in Christopher Hampson’s Three Dialogues for the School’s annual matinee. He subsequently joined Zürich Ballet and moved to Norwegian National Ballet in 2009. His repertory in Zürich and Oslo included Gurn (La Sylphide) and Prince (The Nutcracker). Zucchetti’s repertory with The Royal Ballet includes Colas (La Fille mal gardée), Rhapsody, blue boy (Les Patineurs), Lescaut (Manon), Brother Clown (The Winter’s Tale), Gypsy Girl’s Lover (The Two Pigeons), Lensky (Onegin), Espada (Don Quixote), Hilarion (Giselle), Puck (The Dream), Hans-Peter and Prince (The Nutcracker), Mercutio (Romeo and Juliet), Bronze Idol (La Bayadère), Lead Hungarian Officer (Mayerling), Bluebird (The Sleeping Beauty), Fool (The Prince of the Pagodas) and roles in The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude, Tarantella, Jewels, The Human Seasons, Scènes de ballet, Symphonic Variations, DGV: Danse à grande vitesse, Within the Golden Hour, Dances at a Gathering and Voices of Spring. He has created roles for Carlos Acosta, Kim Brandstrup, David Dawson, Alastair Marriott, Liam Scarlett, Heinz Spoerli and Christopher Wheeldon, among others.
Zucchetti won the School’s Ursula Moreton Choreographic Award in 2005. He choreographed Sonata for Six for the School’s 2013 matinee and regularly creates pieces for The Royal Ballet’s Draft Works. In 2013 he choreographed Orbital Motion for New English Ballet Theatre. His 2020 ballet Scherzo for The Royal Ballet received the South Bank Sky Arts Award for Dance. His ballet Anemoi created for the Main Stage of the Royal Opera House received its world premiere in June 2021 and won the Critic's Circle National Dance Award for Best Classical Choreography in 2022. In 2022, he created Prima for The Royal Ballet: A Diamond Celebration.
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